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Protest Ticino’s policy on cross-border workers angers Italy

In 2014, cross-border workers comprised over a quarter of Ticino's entire workforce 

(Keystone)

Italy has protested against the allocation of residence permits to cross-border workers in the Swiss canton of Ticino.

The Italian foreign ministry said it summoned the Swiss ambassador to Rome, Giancarlo Kessler, to complain about a violation of the agreement on the free movement of people between the European Union and Switzerland.

Kessler reportedly agreed to solve the issue, according to the Italian foreign ministry.

Since April, Ticino authorities have demanded that EU applicants for a temporary residence permit (B permit) provide a copy of their criminal record status.

The State Secretariat for Migration ruled the measure to be illegal, and the Swiss justice minister, Simonetta Sommaruga, repeatedly declared that international treaties must be respected.

For his part, the head of the Ticino government, Norman Gobbi, has vowed to remain firm. He said it was a simple precaution to keep foreign criminals away.

The cantonal parliament in April also decided to increase the taxes on cross-border workers from Italy. The move prompted Rome to demand that the EU commission launch an investigation against Switzerland.

Court

Meanwhile an Italian member of the European parliament, Lara Comi, says she will take the case to the EU’s court of justice.

She described the policy by the Ticino government as an “inacceptable provocation” and urged it to rescind the directive.

The Swiss justice ministry on Wednesday said the cabinet would discuss the issue in due time and contact the Ticino authorities.

swissinfo.ch and agencies


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